Bing Maps is Microsoft flagship earth viewer product, designed to compete with the more popular Google Earth. Previously named Live Search maps, Bing maps is browser based, allowing users to watch the maps on Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. For 3D viewing an additional plug-in available for free on Microsoft site is required. Bing maps offers various options and viewings features based on search type. 3D Maps allow a spatial view of the buildings on a 360 degrees angle. Beside using the keyboard and map to navigate the maps, an Xbox controller can be used as well. This option is not available for all maps, only for some locations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and France. Bird's Eye View, available also for certain locations, is an oblique upper view angled at 40 degrees with a very good perspective over the zone. Road view looks just like any other map, highlighting just the roads with no aerial or 3D view. Traffic allows user to see the road congestions and alternative roads in few major cities around the world. Based on an AI technology called Clear Flow, this provides real-time traffic data and traffic analyses. Users are able to customize the maps adding their own points of interest or favorite locations. Same as in Google Earth, driving indications between two chosen locations are available.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, Windows Internet Explorer 7 or later, or Firefox 2.0 or later, 250 MB or more hard disk space. A 1 GHz processor (2.8 GHz or faster recommended). 256 MB of system memory (1 GB recommended). 32 MB video card (256 MB recommended) that supports Microsoft DirectX 9. A high speed or broadband Internet connection
- Accurate maps, good traffic data for the few locations where is available
- The loading time of maps in 3D can be longer sometimes, few places with high resolution aerial view, navigation with mouse a little awkward